BROOKLYN, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today joined business leaders, local officials, and workers to mark the beginning of suit production at Keystone Tailored Manufacturing LLC – formerly the Hugo Boss plant – in Brooklyn today. Keystone Tailored Manufacturing LLC is the second facility in the United States to manufacture American-made Hart Schaffner Marx suits.
“For years, Brooklyn workers have produced American-made clothing with pride. Now, we celebrate a new era of tailoring at the plant with the beginning of production at Keystone Tailored Manufacturing,” said Brown. “There’s no question that Ohio’s workers attracted Keystone Tailored Manufacturing to Brooklyn. I’m grateful for the work of W Diamond Group and Workers United in helping to save these jobs and ensuring that Ohio workers can continue manufacturing high-quality garments”
Following a December 2014 announcement that Hugo Boss would close the Brooklyn plant, Brown worked with the company, union, and other community and business leaders in their efforts to keep jobs at the plant. In March, Brown joined local workers and business leaders to announce that the newly-formed Keystone Tailor Manufacturing LLC had reached a deal with Hugo Boss to purchase all assets and extend offers to current employees in the Brooklyn plant. Brown arranged the first meeting between executives at Keystone and Hugo Boss leadership, who worked together to reach the deal to maintain the more than 180 jobs in northeast Ohio.
W Diamond Group – the company that manufactures American-made Hart Schaffner Marx suits – partnered with Keystone in a long-term supply agreement to produce men’s suits, suitcoats, and trousers. Keystone’s Brooklyn plant will be the second American manufacturing facility to produce Hart Schaffner Marx apparel, joining W Diamond Group’s Illinois facility, which employs 600 full-time employees. Both the Illinois facility and the Brooklyn facility will be represented by Workers United, the union that represented the Hugo Boss employees.
“Our entire family is excited about the re-opening of the Joseph and Feiss factory here in Brooklyn, Ohio. The tradition dates back to 1870 and is truly one of the jewels of manufacturing in the history of Ohio. Last winter when over 170 Ohioans were staged to lose their jobs, with the support of Senator Brown, the local government officials, Workers United and Keystone Tailored Manufacturing worked closely together to ensure not only will these jobs stay in Brooklyn, but will grow from their base. Through the manufacturing of Hart Schaffner Marx tailored clothing for the W Diamond Group Corporation, as well as additional American designers that value Made in the USA we expect exceed the number of garments manufactured here in the recent past. The facility also has an unused distribution component and we are actively working to lease this space to businesses who can add even more jobs,” said Doug Williams, Keystone Holdings.
“Once again in Brooklyn we have saved jobs for workers, their families, and the community in Cleveland,” said Richard Monje, International Vice President, Workers United. “The proud workers with Senator Brown’s assistance who worked tirelessly on their behalf brought the new company to the table and now we look forward to financial stability for their families. There is a new contract and I believe the company can grow. Our labor allies, the company and Senator Brown have shown that we can rebuild Ohio.”
“Cuyahoga County is proud to play a critical role in retaining more than 180 good jobs here in the County,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “I applaud Senator Brown, the City of Brooklyn, Keystone, and many others who worked to keep this facility open. This is a great example of the type of public-private partnership that is energizing job creation in Cuyahoga County.”
Brown has been a strong supporter of the Brooklyn plant. In 2010, with the plant teetering on the brink of closure, Brown worked closely with the union and the company to reach an agreement that would keep the plant open. In July of that year, Brown joined Hugo Boss workers to celebrate the ‘first suit off the line’ at the plant. In March 2012, Brown joined company workers to celebrate a new labor contract that kept jobs secure for an additional three years.